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the pulling down of strong holds. For though he wars in the flesh, he does not war after, but against the flesh, cast, ing down imaginations, and every high thing, that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God. The world has snares, and we have tastes, passions, and carnal imaginations, whịch lead us into these snares; and it is through our sensuality, ava rice, and ambition, that satan's temptations prevail. When he tried his utmost art upon our Lord, he addressed him. self to his senses, appetites, and passions. He was hungry, and he offered him food. He was not ignorant of the hardship of poverty-the Son of man hath not where to lay his head; nor insensible of reproach, and the vile calumnies with which his holy life was loaded; and, therefore, satan offered him all the kingdoms of the world, with their wealth, their power, and their glory. But, notwithstanding our blessed Lord had a taste, and appetite for food, being hungry; and for property, being distressingly poor, and dependant; and for glory, being reproached and reviled; this was the proof, and essence of his holiness, that he refused a compliance with his taste, his appetite, and his passions, and willed, or chose, in opposition to their cravings, obedience to the law, or conformity to the will of God: and as his life was governed by this will or choice, so it was his constant desire to keep the law, and please his God-this, therefore, was his affection. He had set his mind, and af fections on things above, and not on things below. He was perfectly holy. This holy life, thus exhibited in our world, was designed as an example for our race to follow, and the christian, formed on the same model, sets his affections on things above, and not on things below, and, therefore, serves God with newness of life. His mind is deeply affected by the will of his God, and the desire to please him; compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, he lays, aside every weight (that is, his appetites, and passions) and the sin which doth so easily beset him, (that is, his ruling passion, or predominant lust) and runs with patience the race that is set before him, looking unto Jesus the author, and finisher of his faith, who for the joy that is set before him, endured the cross, and despised the shanie. Our Saviour was neither insensible to shame, nor to suffer
ing, but for the joy set before him, he endured the cross, and despised the shame. These remarks will give us an easy solution of the question, in what does the difference between passion, and affection consist? Passions are that ferver, or earnestness of desire with which we pursue the objects of sense, and sensual imagination. By the objects of sense are excited lusts, carnal appetites, or fleshy indulgences; which the imagination, influenced by sense, &c. clothes with undue attractions, and thereby excites avarice, and ambition, with the numerous tribe of secondary passions which arise from them, as anger, wrath, malice, revenge, fraud, violence, &c. none of which exist in the mind without competition, or opposition of interest or pursuit. That the objects of avarice, and ambition are creatures of the imagination, or derive their power of attraction from the misrepresentations, and decorations of the imagination, as do all other lustful objects, is evident from this, that the more we employ our understanding, regulated by a right rule in examining them (I mean wealth, honour, &c.) and especially when we contrast them with the approbation of God, and the happiness of heaven, the less value they appear to have, and the more absurd, and foolish the inordinate pursuit of them, and the more necessary the restraining, mortifying, and subjecting them to the law of God. In short, the passions are the mere effect of the imposition of the imagination, on the understanding-for whenever the understanding compares them, examines their nature, tendencies, relations, and consequences, (if the understanding uses, as the rule of judgment, the law of God) the imposition is detected, and the reason or necessity of restraining, governing, and even mortifying them is the more apparent. The objects of the affections are not so. They are purely intellectual. We could not know, even by revelation, that there is a God, or that he is good, holy, just, or true; or the reverse; only as we are rational creatures, and exercise our reason in receiving, considering, and digesting the things revealed, and the real value, useful, and happy tendency, and benevolent effect of the attributes, and gracious government of God. The more we learn of them, study them, and acquaint ourselves with them in their nature, tendency,
and effect, the more we esteem, love, and desire them; and the more we esteem, admire, and adore that God, in whom they dwell in infinite fulness, and perfection. It is through their influence upon the mind, as explained, and established by revelation, that their excellence is perceived, and felt; and it is through the excellence thus perceived, and felt by the understanding that the beneficence of God, the infinite fulness, and perfection of all goodness, &c. which dwell in him. are perceived as far as the capacity of the mind for such discernment extends. The understanding having made the comparison, (realizing the vanity, and vexation of spirit, the pain, and sorrow, and even death itself, to which all things sublunary expose us, and by which the force of passion, and lust is broken) prefers, the will chooses, and the affections are set upon the approbation of God, and the gifts of his grace, in preference to the gratification of sense, or lust, or the passions, primary or secondary. The means, therefore, of cherishing those affections, are reading God's word, meditation, prayer, signing praises to God, &c. and for this purpose the ordinances of divine worship are established, to lead us to these mental exercises, to call out our minds, our thoughts, understandings, and affections to be engaged upon these great subjects; to confirm, and establish our will by the law of God, and our affections upon his love, goodness, and mercy. The direct road to strengthen the passions, and appetites, is to suffer these things to get out of the view of the mind by neglect, or the careless performance of the duties of religion, that is, by neglecting to exercise our thoughts in meditation, and our understandings in comparing the value of these great objects with carnal indulgences, and the gratification of passions, which incur the displeasure of God, and the pains of his law. The passions, I suppose, are so called because they arise from the imposition men suffer from their imaginations when they are said to be in a passion. We never think a man in a passion when he is desirous of the indulgence of an appetite, or the acquisition of the objects of ambition or avarice, agreeably to the dictates of sober reason. Wealth, and reputation are objects of rational desire, and may be wisely desired, and sought; but in that
case we never attribute the pursuit to passion. We never call him an avaricious or ambitious man. We only call by the name of passion unreasonable fervor, and the disproportionate eagerness with which we pursue those objects; as when we pursue them with hurry of thought, confusion, and undue emotion, and make improper sacrifices to acquire them, as the sacrifice of our real improvement, of moderate ease, and rest, or of truth, honour, justice, &c. All these are cases in which we plainly suffer imposition or hardship by it. It is therefore properly called passion. The affections which we are required to set on things above are very different→ as they arise from sober thought, and contemplation of things invisible through their representation by the Spirit of God by revelation; and as their objects are infinite, they can never rise too high, or exceed the dictates of sober reason; nor will their fluctuations be capricious, and unaccountable, like the changing wind; they will generally bear a direct proportion to the meditation, reflection, and indeed all the other operations of the mind upon the objects of faith, which we exercise in the duties, and ordinances of divine appointment. But the passions may mingle with them, and are often mistaken for them-they burn with most fervor when blown into a flame by vanity, and presumption: as when they fancy God has honoured them with a special visit, distinguished them with peculiar marks of favour, and confered upon them the exclusive powers of seeing, tasting, and knowing divine things in a way quite distinct from what is common to christains, and open to all. The majority of such cases' issue in the subject becoming presumptuous, proud, party spirited, harsh, and contempuous; impatient of contradiction, reproof or instruction. The passions can never mingle themselves as such with the religious affections, nor issue in the way above described, unless the mind has so far mistaken the principles, and character of christainity as to make them subservient to animal sensation as a primary effect of it, or to nervous excitements, instead of being designed for intellectual, and moral exercises, and through them, the government of corporeal desires, &c. No other religion in the world is suited, by its principles and objects, and their, necessary influences upon the mind, to in
spire a universality of benevolence, and charity, together with the subjugation of the passions, and to excite the affections, but the christian religion. There is no part of man, in all his variety of character, nor is there any situation in which we can be placed, which the christian religion will not make better, and more perfect; and all this, too, without any opposition or competition of interest to any other person; so far from that, one of the leading principles of the christian religion, is, that the happiness of one person is increased by the happiness of another. A wish for the happiness, and perfection of all mankind, is one of the necessary consequences, of this religion in the heart. God, who is the great fountain of all goodness, and perfection, and from whom, through Jesus Christ, flows every blessing, and blessed promise, fills the soul with his glory, and necessarily awakens a desire that our fellow creatures should partake of so divine a felicity. These are the exercises of the mind upon spiritual subjects by faith, in which the passions, (which are sensual,) have no concern, except in a subordinate, and remote degree; we cannot tell what effect they have in giving activity to the mind, and interest in its exercises, even upon divine things. None of the appetites of human nature are evil in themselves; they only become so by governing the life instead of being subject to the obedience of faith.
It is not the design of devotion to change the divine mind, but our own, and to establish it upon the will of God, and Gospel of Jesus Christ. We live by faith, and not by sight-this faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. In the language of the poet,
"The want of sight, faith well supplies, She makes the pearly gates appear; Far into distant works she flies,
And brings eternal glories near.
'Tis by the faith of joys to come